From Austin Ajayi, Yola
It hasbecome a tradition in Nigeria that the performances of most political officeholders are assessed after three months of their election or appointment.
Perhaps, this is borne out of the electioneering promises made by them before they were elected into office. As Governor Ahmadu Umuru Fintiri marks his 100 days in office, he maintained that workers’ welfare which he promised from the beginning is already taking roots. For him, it is a promised kept.
On September,6th, Ahmadu Umuru of Adamawa state, like most other governors in Nigeria marked his100 days in the saddle of the affairs of Adamawa state. How well has the governor managed the state, one may ask.
Ahmadu Umuru who is popularly known as Fintiri took oath of office at about 10:45am on the 29th May, 2019 with a promise to change the trend of things in the state for better. “I will give civil servants in Adamawa top most priority because as a civil service state, the well-being of the workers will determine how well this administration performs. To this end, I will ensure that workers’ emoluments are paid as at when due.
Training and retraining will be a continuous thing so as to keep the state workforce abreast with international best practices to prepare us for infrastructural development of the state”.
Civil Service: Has the Governor kept his promise?
Governor Umuru was nicknamed ATM because he has made civil servants in Adamawa smile again. ‘’This was what has eluded us for some time now’’, this is the testimony of Haruna Dahiru, a civil servant with Adamawa state Government. According to him “We now get our salaries before 25th of every month. In the last three months, the queue in ATM is no longer there because you hardly get broke before the salary comes”.
This same story resonates from the pensioners in the state. The arrears of their pensions and gratuity from 2012 was paid. Same as annual leave grant of civil servants at all level for 2018 and 2019.
Pa Edmond James, who retired from service in 2014 said “I did not believe it that what he promised to do, he will do because I have worked with politicians in the past. They make a lot of promises but ails to achieve one even though, he did it when he was Ag.
Governor. I thought he was doing it to impress but what we are witnessing now, shows that the young man means well for the state. Let me tell you, if anyone in position of authority wants to succeed particularly in public office, that person must take the welfare of its workers seriously and this is what the governor is doing and I wish him the best”.
The security challenges faced by the state at the beginning of his Administration, was enormous, arising from the activities of a deadly group called ‘N’Shilla Boys,’ that took five local government areas in the state hostage. On a daily basis, not fewer than 50 cases were reported against the boys for openly robbing, injuring and disposing victims of valuables.
The administration, sensing the impending doom should these activities not tackled and nib bed in the bud, tasked the security chiefs, traditional rulers, village heads and community leaders on the need to stop the menace.
With adequate support from the state government, the police was able to arrest over 500 members of the group that had been making the state uninhabitable. Beside sthis security breakthrough, with the security master plan put inplace by the state government and the security agencies, hundreds of kidnappers were arrested and over 10 notorious kidnappers turned themselves in to the police.
The farmers/Herders clashes has also been addressed through consultations with leaders of this groups and mass enlighten campaigns carried out in the mass media. All these measures put in place has reduced crime in the state to the barest minimum in Adamawa.
The governor’s score card will not be complete without the modest achievement in the area of education. Governor Fintiri immediately after assuming office, ordered the payment of matching grant to Universal Basic Education (UBE) for the state to access N8bn UBE stimulus that has been lying there over the years to improve the sector.
The Governor has also announced free education from primary to secondary school in the state and the payment of WAEC and NECO fees for all in the state and so is the school feeding program in public boarding secondary schools across the state.
The Ahamdu Umuru led administration has granted full autonomy to local government councils and has set up local government transition committee to conduct local government elections.
Speaking on the giant strides of the governor, the Director- General, Media and Publicity, Mr. Solomon Kumagar said “ the governor has done so well in his hundred days in office as he promised that in the next few months to come, we shall be seeing the infrastructural development.
Like hesaid, the human capacity development is very critical in the development of our state so that is why the governor first tackled the human capacity decay in the state.
He added that critics of the governor not setting up state executive Council, will soon come to appreciate the plans of the government. ‘’ I make bold to say some of them have already identified with the good intention of Gov. Fintiri’’.
As the governor plans to take the state to the league of states that make civil service the hallmark of development, the question being asked by observers is when will he announce his cabinet and how will it look like? It is a promise kept.